Megan Huws/ Contributor
On the 20th of January, Rishi Sunak received a Fixed Term penalty notice for his failure to wear a seatbelt in a levelling up campaigning video. This follows the fines which both he and Boris Johnson received for gatherings which were held during lockdown.
During a trip to northern England, to promote the government ‘levelling up’ fund, which promises millions of pounds of grants, Sunak filmed a video to promote the fund.
In this video posted to Sunak’s Instagram, the Prime Minister talked about the grant while a passenger in the back of a car. Followers were quick to notice that he was not wearing a seatbelt, resulting in the Lancashire Police announcing that Sunak has been fined. Whilst the amount of the fine has not been released, it could be up to £500 if the case goes to court. The video has since been deleted from his Instagram account.
Whilst Sunak was fined for a law which passengers over the age of 14 are expected to understand and follow, those around him were quick to point out that it was a human mistake.
Whilst Sunak was fined for a law which passengers over the age of 14 are expected to understand and follow, those around him were quick to point out that it was a human mistake. No. 10 has said that Sunak “fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised” and emphasised that he will pay the fine. Dominic Raab supports the PM, explaining that he was “a human being doing a demanding job” and had “put his hands straight up” and apologised. The Conservative MP for Blackpool South, Scott Benton also supported Mr Sunak, explaining that “everybody makes mistakes”, and went on to say that the police should focus on more serious crimes, as millions of Britons make the same mistake.
The Liberal Democrat party has highlighted that he has “shown the same disregard for the rules as Boris Johnson”.
However, many have criticised Sunak’s actions, as he actively chose to dismiss the law about seatbelts. The Liberal Democrat party has highlighted that he has “shown the same disregard for the rules as Boris Johnson”. Whilst not wearing a seatbelt may not be on the same level of disregard as Boris Johnson’s breaking of lockdown rules, many argue that this mistake still shows that Sunak believes himself to be above the law